Thursday, September 15, 2016

Welcome to Barcelona

Welcome to Barcelona

Following our visit in Santiago, we flew to Barcelona, and arrived at our apartment, which we booked through Air-bnb.  What a place!  It's located on the Passeig de Gracia, one of the nicest boulevards in Barcelona, with all sorts of fancy shops and cafes.  We're right above Dolce and Gabbana, and Jimmy Choo shoes, where Amy keeps threatening to go buy some new pumps.  The ones in the window are only 1,200 euros!  Even more tempting, the Lladro store is around the corner!  I'm in BIG trouble.

It's just so nice to have a place of our own here, rather than staying in a hotel.  We were able to unpack, wash our clothes which were pretty nasty after a week of hiking, and cook many of our own meals.  Not to mention that we look out our window onto the boulevard, and directly across the street is the Casa Mila, also known as La Padrera, which is one of the most famous buildings by the architect Antonio Gaudi.

The whole neighborhood is full of "modernista" buildings, which were built around the start of the 20th century in a style which is the Catalan version of Arts and Crafts or Art Nouveau found in other cities in Europe.  This happens to be one of my absolute favorite periods for architecture, so walking around the neighborhood is a total delight.

I always love taking pictures of people looking out of windows or hanging on their balconies, and in this neighborhood, there are some great opportunities.

Another important Gaudi building, the Casa Batllo, is located around 3 blocks down the street, so it was the first one I was able to tour.

The building is a real candy land of a house.  It's like being in a dream, with powder blue light wells, organic curves, and visual delights all around.  It was packed with visitors, but well worth it.  It also sits on a block with many other notable modernista homes.

The craftsmanship and artistry blew me away.  I've since discovered that this is true in so many of the buildings from this era.

And you get to go up on the roof and see the wonderful community of tile clad chimneys that frame views of the city.

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